by Mike Vogel
Updated 5 yearss ago
J. Hal Roberts is among a group that bought First Bank and Trust from the estate of Bob Post Jr., the last of Post's holdings. [Photo: Matt Dean]
Tiny Indiantown in western Martin County, home to Old Florida residents and Guatemalan Mayans who work the nearby fields, serves as the county's industrial hub, with egg and flour processing facilities and a Florida Power & Light plant, with its new solar farm. For decades, Bob Post Jr. touched every resident's life through holdings that included the local telecom, waste hauler, real estate, the water company and bank.
Post built an early cell phone company that he sold for $44 million in 1998. A visionary, he brought cutting-edge tech to his customers while bringing his dog to the office. "It's very rare when you find someone who owns the utilities, owns the land, owns the bank. I don't see any town where everything's owned by a particular individual or family ever again," says auctioneer Elliott Paul.
Bob Post Jr.
"There seems to be a great deal of excitement," says J. Hal Roberts, a leader of a group that purchased the four-branch First Bank and Trust Co. of Indiantown. Under its new owners, the bank is being renamed Harbor Community and is acquiring the much larger West Palm Beach-based Grand Bank & Trust.
Meanwhile, there's talk of a dollar store in Indiantown and the community's first McDonald's, on land purchased last year in a mass auction of Post's 46 parcels totaling 525 acres. Buyers primarily were locals who paid cash, an indicator that the new owners have the resources to develop the commercial space the town needs. But much won't change. Says Kevin Powers, of Indiantown Realty, whose family has deep ties to the area, "Indiantown is and always will be a small town."